Volume 2, Issue 9 (October 2005)
Standard Methods for Beryllium Sampling and Analysis: Availabilities and Needs
Conformity in methods for sampling and analysis of beryllium in workplace air and on surfaces is desired, but inconsistencies in sampling and analytical practices often occur among industrial hygienists and laboratory personnel. In an effort to address these issues, this paper gives an overview of standardized methods for sampling and analysis of beryllium in the workplace. A number of published methods is currently available to the industrial hygiene and analytical community, but shortfalls in the use of standardized practices require attention. Also, questions remain concerning the performance of some of the sampling and analytical methodologies that have been promulgated. We attempt to identify needs for new or improved standard sampling protocols, sample preparation techniques, analytical methods, and reference materials. Where applicable, performance data are summarized for standardized methods that are either published or are under development. These include not only ASTM and ISO international standards, but also methods published by government agencies in the USA and abroad. Significant gaps in standard methods and requirements for reference materials remain. For example, consistent practices are lacking for: (a) surface sampling of beryllium in dust; (b) extraction of beryllium from surface dust samples prior to instrumental analysis; and (c) reference materials containing beryllium oxide (especially high-fired BeO). These and other gaps will be identified and shortcomings addressed. An ultimate goal is to provide standard methods which will ensure comparability of data obtained from different sites around the globe.